Rosie’s misadventure with damaged discs

This isn’t the first time that Rosie has stopped walking. Last year, she had the same experience but we didn’t realize the severity of the issue because she started walking after three days. This time was different and so we took her to the vet yesterday.

I read in an article about Degenerative Disc Disease in Dogs, “that some dogs will go from normal walking to total paralysis in less than one hour”.

Thankfully, Rosie’s case wasn’t this severe!


What happens with Rosie and her damaged discs?

Rosie has been having some issues walking the past few weeks. We would be out for walks, which she loves, and it would look like she was tripping. She started limping more and more, then walks became less and less enticing for her.

When she stopped walking entirely, we started to get worried that this was something much, much worse. We reached out to our vet and were scheduled for a visit on Monday morning. 

When a dog has a damaged disc, some of the symptoms may include:

  • unwillingness to jump
  • pain and weakness in rear legs
  • crying out in pain
  • anxious behaviour
  • muscle spasms over back or neck
  • hunched back or neck with tense muscles
  • reduced appetite and activity level
  • loss of bladder and/or bowel control

How did she end up with damaged discs?!

Canine intervertebral disc disease is a degenerative disease and normally affects such as Corgi, Beagle, Poodle, Bulldog and more.

What happens is that a disc in the dog’s spine is either herniated or ruptured, leaking its contents and causing pain and severe inflammation. The disc is no longer able to do its job as a shock absorber or help with the weight load put on the spine.

What was made clear was that she wasn’t allowed to use the stairs or go for walks for a few weeks. Everyone was to be extra gentle with her.

Bed rest it is and medication to help the healing process. The medication will help reduce the swelling of the disc and relax her muscles. She may need to do physical therapy to help with strengthening the muscles again. 

How long do damaged discs take to heal?

It depends on the severity of the damage.

We were told that it will take a few weeks but within a day, Rosie was walking again and wanted to bark at everything! Her appetite was back and she wanted everyone to share their meals with her.

We are out of the danger zone (needing surgery) at this point but will be monitoring her closer than ever. 

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